Malapascua Island is situated in the Visayan Sea, located across a shallow strait from the northernmost tip of Cebu Island in the Philippines. Malapascua Island is only about 2.5 kilometers long and 1 km wide, and has eight hamlets and you can walk around the island in around 1-2 hours. It has a population of around 4000, most of whom live off tourism, fishing, boat building or coconuts. Today, Malapascua remains a beautiful, sleepy island, as yet unspoiled by tourism, with white sandy beaches, lush green palm trees and surrounded by clear blue waters.
Malapascua Island’s main tourist attraction is diving. The island is surrounded by pristine tropical waters housing beautiful coral gardens which are rich with an abundance of marine life. The added attraction of three wreck dives, the marine sanctuary of Gato Island – a famous sea-snake breeding ground – and almost daily appearances of the otherwise rarely sighted thresher shark off Monad Shoal and Manta ray there are no shortage of reasons why so many diving enthusiasts travel to Malapascua Island to dive.
There is no cars on the island, not that you will need any, as you can walk everywhere. There are mopeds owned by locals who are always willing to give you a lift if needed, sometimes for a small charge. In general, enjoy to take the time to take in beauty of this lovely island.
There are a few different resorts scattered around Malapascua island, with most providing basic essential accommodation. You will need to book in peak season just to ensure you have a room when you arrive.
Please bare in mind that there are NO cashmachines/ATMS on the island of Malapascua. In addition to this many places do not accept travelers cheques and credit cards and most of the ones that do charge an extra 5-10%. So come prepared and bring cash.
By plane-International gateway and national flights to Cebu the city; then you will need to go to the northern tip of Cebu to Maya.
By bus-There are 3 companies which ride to Maya from the North bus station in Cebu: Ceres, Cebu AutoBus and Rough Riders. The journey takes 3 1/2 to 4 hours or you could hire a taxi or a private car from Cebu to Maya.
By boat-From Maya a local boat Ferry goes across am and pm with a break at lunch time till 4.30 it take about 1/2 hour.
Food and night life
Malapascua has some excellent restaurants. Many are Western owned and run and they have set a high standard for the island. The food is of excellent quality, and is generally a mix of Filipino and European dishes. And if you are a meat or fish lover, the Philippines is really the place for you. Malapascua has a good few bars to choose from and you are sure to find one you like.
The Weather in Malapascua
The Philippines has two seasons: “rainy season” (July-December) and “dry season” (January to June). However, this does not mean that it always rains in rainy season – in fact we can go for months in rainy season with very little rain.
So when should you come?
This very much depends on the kind of holiday you want and the marine life you want to see. September is considered the best time to see Mantas as they are usually at their peak, and there are also many thresher sharks. The weather is generally sunny but not too hot, and there are not many tourists. This means fewer divers in the water, fewer people on the beach, and faster service in the restaurants.
A few points to think about when making your decision:
- High season (December to April) means less chance of rain, but also more people and sometimes higher prices. Hottest time is from March – May. If you want to meet lots of people and have a livelier social life this is the best time.
- Water temperature varies from 27-30 degrees for most of the year. From December – February it is usually 24-26 degrees although it does not drop every year.